Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Jackdaws on Dung

This morning I saw a sight that I found very encouraging. There were jackdaws feeding on the heaps of llama dung in our garden. Ever since we aquired a few sheep and three llamas, I have become aware of the problems of worming of these animals. Many vetinarians, and farmers believe it is essential to worm livestock regularly (never mind the fact that until the 1950s, most farmers managed without such treatments. And the helminthicide often used is Ivermectin, which is very persistent, and survives in the dung, to kill or deform the invertebrates that feed on the dung.

I have never wormed our animals, which remain perfectly healthy, and so over the past year it has been encouraging to see various scatophagous flies and beetles around the dung heeaps (llamas are communal dungers). And then to see jackdays probing for grubs was just great. We are all aware of the loss of woodlands and forests, but in England at any rate, the loss of grasslands and all the associated ildlife is considerably more significant.


  1. I didn't know you as a dung connoisseur! You must have appreciated our 10 wheelbarrows' worth of elephant dung fertilizing the roses in Hyde Park during Trunks Meet Trunks.

  2. Identify and destroy midge breeding sites - the Culicoides midges that carry the virus usually breed on animal dung and moist soils, either bare or covered in short grass. Turning off taps, mending leaks and filling in or draining damp areas will help dry up breeding areas. Dung heaps and straw bedding should be removed at least weekly to break the immature midge breeding cycle
    Practical advice for preventing Bluetongue in livestock: defra.....
    then there is the insecticide treatments